A Commitment to Community: The Legacy of Dayle Fowler

“Dayle Fowler was the most generous person I’ve ever met,” Norm Leopold said one bright day in March this year. A friend of Dayle’s for more than four decades, Norm speaks with some authority on the subject. “I can tell you with great sincerity that there was nobody with a cause that she wouldn’t help out. People would call her up—total strangers—and she would extend help to them, typically financial help.”

A fervent supporter of St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation and a member of the St. Luke’s Volunteer Board who was passionately involved in putting on the Annual Winter Gala, Dayle died in a traffic accident on June 28, 2011, at the age of 62. True to a life of giving, Dayle’s generosity continued on in her passing with a planned estate gift to St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation.

Norm, who is the executor of Dayle’s estate, met Dayle in 1978 when he happened to move into the same Seattle apartment complex as she. They became good friends over the years, a friendship that continued when Leopold and his wife moved to the Wood River Valley in 2001. Dayle, who was an avid skier and former ski patroller, moved here a few years later and actually bought her mid-valley house from Norm.

After the passing of her husband, Dayle became “…deeply committed to her community, whether it was the Seattle or Bellevue, Washington area,” Norm says. “And when she moved here, that same commitment to community was her major daily activity.” She threw her energies into her passions, which included jazz, gardening, art, and healthcare. She became an ongoing supporter of the Idaho Jazz Society, Sawtooth Botanical Gardens, St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation, and Camp Rainbow Gold. And in her passing, she made generous provisions for all in her will with planned gifts. Her estate was split among these four institutions and four family trusts.

“In passing, Dayle wanted to remember those institutions that meant so much to her in life,” Norm says. “She knew that there would be considerable money and that that money could do more good on her passing than when she was here.”

Norm points out that because Dayle and her estate lawyers planned so carefully and thoughtfully ahead of time, the estate faced no inheritance taxes whatsoever.

The ultimate beneficiary, however, will be the Wood River Valley community. The funds made available by the Fowler estate will serve to continue and expand the tradition of excellence in healthcare services in the valley. From board certified physicians in the emergency department to state-of-the-art staff training tools, from a new mental health services network to high level pediatric care, Dayle’s thoughtfulness will impact generations of patients in the Wood River Valley.